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Berlanga Tops Quigley at MSG

From Madison Square Garden- Undefeated super middleweight and Brooklyn star Edgar Berlanga (21-0, 16 ko) remains undefeated with a unanimous decision over Jason Quigley (20-3, 14 ko) by score of 116-108(twice) and 118-106. ITRBoxing scored the fight 115-109 for Berlanga. 

After a tentative first two rounds, Berlanga scored knockdowns in th 3rd and 5th rounds (the second might have been a trip), and in that sequence had Quigley hurt several times but was never able to up the pace and finish him off, and in fact Quigley would settle into a nice rhythm and win a good portion of the middle rounds, boxing intelligently behind his jab and closing the sixth and seventh with hard right hands. 

To his credit, Berlanga closed the show strong scoring two more hard knockdowns on Quigley in the twelfth and nearly got  him out of there. He just wasn’t quite able to deliver the KO.

This was not a bad fight for Berlanga by any means. He scored multiple knockdowns over a good fighter and closed the show strong, with his best round be the twelfth. He displayed his power without getting a knockout, and looked pretty good for a guy coming off a year layoff due to a bicep injury. But here’s the deal; Berlanga was physically dominant over Quigley and scored multiple knockdowns and somehow managed to be in a relatively competitive fight. There are long stretches of inactivity where he follows his opponents, and his jab, which is a good one, disappears for minutes at a time. He throws most of his punches as hard as he can and at the exact same speed, and just generally isn’t active. It feels like a matter of time before a smart boxer is able to exploit those shortcomings. Until he fights somebody at the top of 168 that is unlikely to happen, a testament to Berlanga’s talent and ability, but the trajectory he set for himself with sixteen first round knockouts, and being spoken about at times as a potential Canelo Alvarez opponent, he just isn’t meeting those expectations, at least for me. Both he and Eddie Hearn talked about fights with Jaime Munguia, Gennady Golovkin, Billy Jo Saunders and other contenders. It’s time for Berlanga to take this caliber of fights and see where he stands. 

I was also in the building for Berlanga’s win over Steve Rolls, a close decision and a lesser performance to tonights win over Quigley. But once again, he has the Nuyorican crowd on his side, the best supporters in boxing, ready to explode with excitement at the arrival of a legend, and he just doesn’t quite give them what they want. I hope he does at some point. 

Cusumano Stops Kownacki in All Out War

In a back and forth war, Juiseppe Cusumano (22-4, 20 ko) has perhaps put an end to the entertaining career of longtime heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki (20-4, 15 ko) with an 8th round TKO. 

Both guys came out jabbing pretty effectively,  but a heavy handed combination at the end of the first dropped and badly hurt Kownacki, who didn’t look like he would make it through the next round. 

Cusumano came out aggressively in the second, but Kownacki rallied with a combination that got Cusumano off of him, hurting him back at the end of the round. 

From that point the fight was an absolute back and forth war, with both guys hurting the other and rallying back on multiple occasions, often making the rounds difficult to score with both guys getting badly wobbled multiple times. Both were also checked by doctors multiple times throughout the bout.

In the seventh, a burst of energy from Cusumano badly hurt Kownacki, and once again Kownacki rallied back and perhaps evened or took the round. But in the eighth, a final burst from Cusumano put an end to the fight. With Kownacki badly hurt, his corner threw in the towel to save the warrior from himself. 

Kownacki is still all heart and balls, but he has not had the same punch resistance since a brutal fight with Chris Arreola in 2019, a fight he won but also took an unbelievable amount of punishment. He is winless since then, and this his fourth loss in a row could spell the end on a very fun career. Cusumano for his part may have put himself in the mix for some more interesting fights at heavyweight moving forward.

Reshat Mati Puts On Boxing Clinic Against Dakota Linger

Jr. Welterweight prospect Reshat Mati (14-0, 8 ko) couldn’t have boxed a much cleaner fight in a 9th round tko of tough veteran Dakota Linger (13-6-3, 9 ko). Though the stoppage by referee Arthur Mercante seemed unwarranted, Linger hadn’t had a single successful sequence in the entire fight, and after Mati unloaded a vicious combination, he stepped in and called it.

Linger started the first more cautious and defensive than usual, which allowed Mati to assert himself with some hard combinations. In the second, Linger came out more on the front foot in an attempt to get some get-back, and Mati went into full blown back foot boxer mode for the remainder of the fight, dominating with beautiful footwork, a dominant jab and left uppercut, near-perfect head movement, and a great instinct to smother Linger when he needed to. He also did a great job of timing his right hand as soon as Linger would look to make a move. Overall, a dominant and impressive performance for the Staten Island native who looks like another guy who could be the goods at 140 pounds. 

  • Exciting Puerto Rican prospect Yankiel Rivera (4-0, 2 ko) won an action packed decision over Christian Robles (8-1, 3 ko), his second in a row at MSG. Rivera looks like he’s on the fast track for a big fight at lightweight and is very fun to watch.
  • Jersey City light heavyweight prospect Khalil Coe (6-0-1, 4 ko) scores his second straight knockout over Buneet Bisla (7-1, 3 ko) in a battle of unbeaten fighters. Coe looked good in this one, beating his second unbeaten fighter in three fights.
  • Ofacio Falcon (10-0, 6 ko) wins an impressive six round shut out over Pedro Vicente Scharbaai (7-6-1, 2 ko)
  • Local favorite Pablo Valdez (7-0, 6 ko) scores a fourth round stoppage over Demian Daniel Fernandez (14-5-1, 5 ko). The 40 year old jr. middleweight looked good despite a 9 month layoff and just one fight since December of 2021.
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Dakota McCormick

Dakota McCormick

Gym rat, trainer, and host of "The Slip and Weave Podcast"